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Product Design faculty inducted into Industrial Design Academy of Fellows

IDSA National Conference attendees honor John Caruso.

IDSA National Conference 2023.

Each year, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) inducts select members into the Academy of Fellows, one the highest honors that can be bestowed on an industrial designer. John Caruso, professor of product design at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), was honored earlier this year for his achievements in industrial design and was inducted into the Academy of Fellows.

According to one of his nominators, Caruso’s “mindset of curiosity, joy, problem solving and rigor is evident in his impressive portfolio which showcases a volume of works ranging from electronics, home goods, appliances and display design to children’s toys and robotics.”

A passionate educator and innovative designer, Caruso credits his grandfather with igniting his interest in both fields. “Teaching lasts through eternity … It’s gratifying to see your students become so successful, I’m so moved by that,” he said in his acceptance speech at the awards ceremony in New York, which took place during the IDSA National Conference. “I don’t think there’s ever been a time that it’s been more important to give students that kind of interaction and validation,” Caruso continues. “It’s so vital to their well rounded education.”

“This is a very humbling award,” Caruso says. “Some of my mentors and heroes are on the stage. This is an incredible achievement and I’m overwhelmed.” With designs ranging from home appliances to children’s toys to delivery vehicles emphasizing sustainability and usability, Caruso’s clients have included Crate & Barrel, Target, Coleman, Design Ideas and many others.

No stranger to recognition, Caruso’s list of other notable achievements includes an IDSA Midwest Outstanding Design Educator of the Year award, several Good Design Awards and Best Educator Paper at the IDSA National Conference. Caruso also received a design arts grant from the National Endowment of the Arts Design to research and develop consumer products made from post-consumer recycled materials. He founded Blu Planet, a design studio that designed, developed and oversaw manufacture of products for The Container Store, Crate & Barrel and Target. Under his direction, Caruso’s students have also won numerous design awards, including Industrial Design Excellence Awards and National Housewares Manufacturers Awards.

Learn more about Caruso and explore MIAD’s Product Design major!


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